NASA releases the latest update of Earth's temperature. Image Source: Live Science

Scientists at NASA recorded the highest heat signatures on the planet last year, in 2016. However, both 2015 and 2014 were also the hottest years on record on their own time, which some climate changes advocates might cite as evidence of continued global warming.

Two separate studies from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) came to the same conclusion. The average temperature in 2016 was 58.69 degrees Fahrenheit, beating 2015 by 0.07 degrees.

Scientists are paying close attention to this phenomenon as theories about our planet’s future start to appear grim. Most of them are already elaborating on the short-term consequences of the world’s rising temperatures and possible climate effects.

The Arctic was one of the warmest areas of the globe

Gavin Schmidt, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said that the icy region on top of the world produced some of the highest signatures in the entire year. He stated that it was “off the charts compared to everything else.”

Scientists started to register the world’s temperature in 1880. In the 21st century, there have been five temperature records so far, 2005, 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Schmidt said that calculations showed that this heating is a direct result of gasses which come from the burning of coal, oil, and gas. The natural ‘El Niño’ phenomenon might also have contributed to the growing heat, but only about 12%.

Global warming’s tangible consequences

Climate researchers report claim these temperatures might be behind natural occurrences such as larger wildfires and heavier rainfall. NASA’s latest measurement of the sea level rise is at 81.1 mm, in an increasing trend from before 1990.

NASA releases global climate projections. Image Source: Live Science
NASA releases global climate projections. Image Source: Live Science

In July of last year, thermostats in Mitribah, Kuwait, marked 129.2 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest temperature ever measured in the Eastern Hemisphere.

In the final months of 2016, the Arctic saw two separate spikes in temperature that ranged from 30 to 35 degrees, a very strange phenomenon.

What scientists are saying about climate change

Most agree that the changes currently happening in the world are the direct result of human action. A future with no fossil fuel burning would probably be humanity’s best bet at survival.

The effects of global warming do affect society in ways most people don’t realize, according to some of them. Extreme natural conditions are a potential hazard for agriculture, public health, economics, and many other seemingly unrelated fields.

Climate change will continue, but in the meantime, some companies are taking a step in the renewable energy direction (and profiting from it as well, people should note). The best current example in America might be Tesla and its solar-powered home project.

Source: The Washington Post

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